Wellsburg veteran honored

WELLSBURG – A Wellsburg man has been honored by the government of Belgium for his part in liberating the country from Nazi forces during World War II.

Pete Lallone, a member of the 743rd Tank Battalion of the Army’s 30th Infantry Division, was presented Belgium’s Fourragere, a military award issued to Allied Forces that fought off a German offensive in the Ardennes mountain region of Belgium, France and Luxembourg near the war’s end that became known as the Battle of the Bulge.

He was presented the honor at a meeting of the Ohio Valley Barbed Wire Chapter of Ex-Prisoners of War by John Chernenko, the group’s president and a fellow veteran of the Battle of the Bulge.

Asked about conditions during the fighting, which occurred in frigid winter weather, Lallone said, “There was a lot of snow on the ground and we were sleeping in foxholes. You just lived through it and that’s about it.”

Lallone, who was among troops captured by the Germans, recalled being marched through the day to a brick factory, where they slept, and then to a train station from which he and many others were transported in railroad boxcars to a POW camp near Russia.

He said while imprisoned, food was scarce and he and other prisoners might receive a slice of bread about every other day.

Lallone said he missed his family “who didn’t even know where I was” until he was liberated by English troops 5 and a half months later.

He was one of five brothers and stepbrothers who served during the war.

A younger brother, George, was killed while serving in Italy.

Having enlisted at age 26, he resumed his life after returning home. Married in 1949, he and his wife, Eleanor, have a daughter and two grandchildren.

He and his brother, Frank, ran a service station in Wellsburg for many years.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)